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Bluff is the oldest European town in New Zealand, having been settled since 1824. The main Maori settlement in the area was Ruapuke Island, which with its seven pas was the base of the paramount chief of the South Island, Tuhawaiki.
Bluff is dominated by Bluff Hill, an extinct volcanic cone, which provides some shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. There is a world-class walk along the shoreline through native bush to a bluff, after which the town is named, known to early whalers as Old Man's Bluff.
The harbour is home to the Foveaux Strait oyster boats. Bluff oysters are renowned for their succulence and flavour, and are considered a delicacy nationwide, with Bluff holding an annual oyster festival in May each year. Crowds came from all over New Zealand to enjoy the festivities, traditionally starting with the traditional Piping in of the Oyster.
The population of Bluff is approx. 2500 and one resident seal. Yes, quite frequently seen disrupting traffic opposite Morrison’s Beach every now and then he likes to venture inland, parking himself in the middle of the road.
This is a great little town - come and explore the history, nature and local seafood.
More more information visit www.southlandnz.com.
Bluff has the best seafood in New Zealand!
Bluff Hill/Motupohue has spectacular panoramic views of Southland and a Maori chief is buried on the Hill.
Bluff Maritime Museum documents the history of the Bluff oyster, whaling, muttonbirding, port and ferry history. The oyster boat 'Monica' sits alongside the museum, which was originally brought to Bluff in 1937.
The start of State Highway 1 is signified by the signpost at Stirling Point. It is visited by thousands of people each year, who get their photos taken with the sign post.
The Titi (muttonbird) Islands are located off the coast of Bluff. They can only be collected by members of Ngai Tahu.
Bluff is the sailing point for the one hour ferry trip to Stewart Island.
There are many walkways located on Bluff Hill. These have wonderful views of the coastline and of Foveaux Strait.
Check out the Sir Joseph Ward Statue at the Island Harbour entrance. Sir Joseph Ward became Prime Minister of New Zealand in 1906. He was also a former Mayor of Bluff and is buried at Bluff cemetery, Lagan Street.
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